Wine culture has 8000 years of history in Georgia and a lot of historical, archaeological, ethnographical materials and manuscripts that prove that.
The history of wine was started in Neolith era and the most evidences about that were found in Georgia. In Kvemo Kartli, south from Tbilisi, in the valley of Marneuli, the archaeologists found several grape seeds from the VI millennium BC and they were classified as cultural variety „Vitis Vinifera Sativa“.
Some clay fragments were also discovered there, in the ancient ruins and wine acid signs were found on those fragments. Ancient signs of wine are also discovered in the ruins of the Neolith era close to Gori (Georgia).
These discoveries show that humans living there in VI-V millennia BC were already growing vine. In addition, clay jar fragments confirm that those wine-making activities were already well developed and the vine-growing process had been started in Georgia a long time ago.
Vine-growing was not hard for Georgians, as they did not need to bring vine plants from other places, as wild vine was always growing in the south Caucasus.
It is found to grow in Georgia even today. It is worth mentioning that, there are about 4000 vine species in the world, where more than 500 are from Georgia.
Vine and wine got even stronger role in Georgia after Christianity, as Holy Nino came into Georgia with the vine cross and wine began to be associated with the blood of Jesus.
In Vani, near Kutaisi, during the archaeological excavations, a bronze man statue with wine horn in his hands, dating back to VII BC was found. This means that at that time not only wine-making, but also wine-drinking culture was already well developed in Georgia.
There are many ancient Greek, Persian and Georgian manuscripts about Georgian wine: Xenophon (V BC) writes that wine from Kolkheti (Georgia) was “fragrant and pleasant”.
Strabo (I BC) writes that vine was prevailed in Iberia (Georgia) and grape harvest was so big that the population could not consume it themselves.
“Georgia is the cradle of wine” – said Hugh Johnson, the famous English writer and wine expert, who led the opening of Vinopolis – the city of wine – a theme park for oenophiles in London in 1999.